Letter: The pluses and minuses of legalising cannabis

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Partington

Sir: Your poll finding against decriminalising cannabis proves that there are still enough people who put responsibility for others before their own self-interest ("Cannabis: the drug we still can't accept", 4 March). In my work as director of a drug rehabilitation centre, I have, over 14 years, seen the damaging results of unrestrained cannabis use in the lives of hundreds of addicts.

My worry is that the current debate is being driven by a vocal minority who want to legalise pot because they use it themselves. Their ethos states, "If it feels good, do it", regardless of the damage it will do to others. For every "legalise pot" proponent, there is evidence of broken lives brought about because pot intoxicates, cheats and demeans lives. The silent majority - who are reflected in your poll - must become more outspoken or we will see a tragic squandering of many more young lives.

We must ask ourselves two questions. Will legalisation of cannabis increase use? Will it multiply harm to individuals and society? The resounding answer to these questions from every country to have liberalised its attitude to cannabis is an emphatic "yes". Our answer, therefore, must be a resounding "no". The last thing we need is another intoxicating substance unleashed upon society.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID PARTINGTON

Yeldall Christian Centres &

Evangelical Alliance Coalition

on Drugs

London, SE11

6 March

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